Going Commando

I love escaping from Leadville to indulge in a mini vacation every once in a while, especially during the nine long months of winter, and the hot springs south of us in Buena Vista provide a frugal solution. For $15 on a weekday I can soak until the Sun-Maid Raisin Company drones start hovering, and if I’m feeling like a good girl, I might even treat myself to a nice dinner.

Today was my good girl day. After finishing several ankle-biter projects, I joined my friend Carol and we made our escape. The afternoon was perfect, the water in the pools was crystal clear and steaming hot and the place was practically empty. Relaxation and pruning ensued, and something about being immersed in water for hours left us craving sushi.

To the showers!

I grabbed my towel from my bag in the changing room and then sensed something was missing. On the wall hooks hung my hoodie, my belt, my . . . my belt? Where the heck were my jeans? I searched my small bag. Not there. Carol searched hers. Not there. We were the only two in the room. I wrapped the towel around me and strode to the office where I reported the heinous crime.

Mortified, the young girl at the counter did the only thing she could do, and after helping me dig through bags of lost-and-found clothes, I found the only pair of pants in the heap. Having previously decided I was going to go “commando” after my soak (the decision which surely guaranteed I would go pants-less that evening), I cut out the liner in the oh-so-stylish swim trunks. A girl—even a good girl—can’t be too careful.

And then came the dinner decision. Would Carol actually be seen with me in a restaurant pantsin my, ah, unusual attire?  Did I mention she’s a good friend? She thought I looked adorable.

“The way I see it,” she said, “if you’re embarrassed about something, you can either hide it or paint it yellow.” There had been one pair of ratty-looking midnight blue sweatpants I could have selected, but then I would have been hiding. And sad. I decided to rock the retro shorts.

Nervous that the sushi management might look askance when I walked through the door, I was relieved to see the place was closed. We went, instead, to a more casual establishment. Still, I noticed the other patrons judging me as our waitress seated us.

“What do you think of these?” I asked her, spinning around for the whole restaurant to see, and before she could come up with a tactful reply, I told her about how someone had absconded with my pants.

“No way!” she said. “Someone else just left here and said her pants were stolen from there! She’d left them folded neatly under her shirt, and they were gone, so she took a pair that was hanging on a hook. She said her pants were much nicer than the ones on the hook . . . and she was your size.”

So I’m sorry for the woman who lost her nice jeans and ended up with my old, holey, thrift-store jeans, and I’m ever so grateful that she left my belt. And my hoodie. And my socks. I was just starting to think about replacing my pants. But maybe I should just throw on a pair of tights under my new shorts. It’s almost springtime in Leadville.

“Paint it yellow,” right?

MWF seeks KAA!

Yes. This married white female is seeking a kick-ass agent to represent WATERWIGHT, and I’ve decided to share my query letter with you. Perhaps you know a KAA who’s ready for a fun adventure:

Dear KAA:

Imagine a world where a young girl’s most trusted friend is a flying frog. [thanks, Maggie, for this suggestion! And if you’re reading this, please buy Maggie’s book “BODY PUNISHMENT”]

I am seeking representation for WATERWIGHT, a 42,250-word YA fantasy adventure set in a post-cataclysmic world in which time is somehow “off” and bizarre anomalies have been unleashed.

Celeste, a 14-year-old orphan, must discover the key to saving what is left of humanity from an encroaching body of stinking water that threatens to consume everything in its path. Although she is aided by mystical beings—including a flying frog and an old mountain spirit—and her special powers, discovered after running away from a wretched children’s home, she alone must find the solution.

After finding mysterious poems in her diary, Celeste questions her sanity. Only after interacting with a pack of wild dogs and a talking mountain does she realize her ability to communicate with non-humans, and eventually, with those who speak different languages. All signs convince her to go “to the other side of the big water” where she is certain to find the key, but superstitious villagers and a fissure-prone planet thwart her at every turn. And let’s not forget the Shifter, pawn of the Overleader, whose mission it is to stop her.

This is a stand-alone novel, but I see it as the first book in a story arc that completes a trilogy. Middle school teachers in three schools are currently using WATERWIGHT: Book 1 for their end-of-year reading project. I have started to write Book 2 and plan to have the trilogy completed by the end of 2015.

I am a teacher (MA in English), a published author and an ex-Army officer who has experienced many adventures. My novel “Miss?” is available from Amazon (September 2013) as are books from Publishing Syndicate’s new series Not Your Mother’s Book for which I co-create Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Stupid Kid (November 2012) and have several short stories published in many of their other titles. Colorado Central Magazine has also published several of my short stories.

Thank you for your consideration,


Now, who’s with me?